V1645 Sewalong Post 1 - The Prep

Welcome to the first day of my Vogue 1645 Sewalong!

As I write this, many of us are sheltered at home during COVID-19. This may mean you are too busy to sew as you're now caring for kids or loved ones. For me, however, I've found that sewing is a nice refuge during the weekend and have found myself tackling harder and harder projects that I hadn't had the time to work on until now. For this reason, if you are in the same boat, I thought it would be fun to offer some encouragement to take on this very popular Vogue Pattern. Already I have seen a few versions popping up while in quarantine and a few more on Instagram have shared that they've been meaning to make it up.

For the uninitiated, Vogue 1645 is a jumpsuit from designer Rachel Comey. What really made this one stand out is the partial front wrap, giving this garment a half-dress, half-jumpsuit look. The designer has made it up in some beautiful linen looks in a variety of colors. I just love this fresh take on the jumpsuit. As a bonus, it looks comfy enough to wear around the house, as I don't see myself getting out anytime soon. You'll also notice that I made a few modifications to my version, which I'll explain as we sew the pattern.

If you already have your pattern, this is a great time to pull it out from the stash and give it a go. And if not, it is on sale right now on the Vogue website (though unfortunately not available in PDF). I was lucky enough to have already purchased my fabric, but have also seen many local fabric stores offering online/phone orders and pick-up, so that could be a good option in your area.

This sewalong is intended for sewers who are already comfortable making garments. For example, I won't be offering step-by-step instructions for how to choose your fabric, sew a dart, insert a zipper, etc., though I do have links to instructions for some things on my website. That said, I have gone through the Vogue instructions and greatly simplified them. This order of constructions makes a lot more sense to me and I hope that it will for you, too!

To start, today I'm writing about how I prepped for sewing this pattern. You'll see that a lot of this applies to sewing other things, too! My next two posts will be about constructing the garment, and finally I will share lots of views of the pattern made up. I hope you'll join me at some point on this adventure!


Whenever I sew a new pattern, the first thing I like to do is research. There are three main places I go for research:

Click on the links above to see the results for V1645 in each. Pattern Review is usually helpful to get more honest reviews of the pattern. In this case, I learned that, like most Vogue Patterns, it was a complicated project. Many people found the instructions confusing. Reading the comments also confirmed that the armholes were a bit low, something I suspected from my previous experience with Vogue Patterns. A few people also had fit issues, which meant I should probably make a muslin. This was all very helpful and why I highly recommend taking a look at Pattern Review before sewing something up! As I mentioned, I will also be recommending a different construction order in this sewalong that should simplify these things a bit ;) 

Sometimes the pattern hasn't been reviewed yet on Pattern Review or I want more of those Instagram-worthy pics for inspiration. For this reason, I usually head over to, you guessed it, Instagram. There will often be many versions here that weren't posted on Pattern Review. Seeing lots of different versions helps me get an idea of how the pattern looks on many different people and with different fabrics, see interesting design variations, and spot any common fit issues. 

Finally, I sometimes also do a quick Google Image search of the pattern, especially if there's not a lot of information about it. This can lead me to blog posts that might provide further detail. I found Beuhlah Birtley's post really helpful in terms of construction details and, as you can tell, I also loved her modifications to a sleeveless jumpsuit (and that striped shirt I shamelessly copied!). 

Read the Instructions and Prep the Pattern
Because reviewers had mentioned that this was a difficult pattern, my next step was to read through the instructions. The first half mostly seemed pretty straightforward, but there were a lot of steps and some places where I had trouble envisioning the process. This was another indicator that I should make a muslin to test it. 

Before doing that, however, I decided to also mock up the garment using the pattern pieces. I cut them out at the largest size (which also happened to be my size - Medium on my copy of the pattern) and pinned them on my dress form. If you're a visual or kinesthetic person, I HIGHLY recommend doing this to get a better understanding of how the garment is put together. In this case, it gave me a better sense of the pocket construction as well as the front overlay. 

I also made one adjustment to the pattern before even cutting my pattern pieces, which was to raise the armholes by 2". All those reviewers can't be wrong

Next, I made my muslin out of an old bedsheet to test the fit of the garment, understand the construction, and see how it looked on me. As a result of this process, I made the following adjustments to 1) alter the style of the garment to my liking and 2) adjust the fit:

Changes to the style of the garment:
  • Changing the cut-on sleeve shape to sleeveless and adjusting the length of the sleeve facing accordingly. This included taking some width out of the front piece at the side seam to snug up the fit
  • Raising the underarms by 3" (I recommend 2" if keeping the cut-on sleeve shape)
  • Lengthening the belt into ties that wrap around my waist (3" x 50" for the front and 3" x 34" for the back tie)
  • Shortening the legs by 1.5 for a more cropped look
  • Cut the upper back on the fold rather than in two pieces
  • I ran out of fabric for facings so I resolved to just turn the raw edge of the neckline under twice

Changes to the fit
  • Taking a 1" wedge out of the left front and right front to snug up the fit
  • Raising the bust dart by 1/2"

Next up...
In my next post, I will show you the first half of how I assembled the garment. 

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